Do the formalism of IT service management and the agility of DevOps mean that one can only succeed if the other fails?
The main goals of ITSM are to help achieve business objectives and increase IT efficiency. DevOps on the other hand puts the priority on speed and iteration of development and deployment activities.
When the two approaches are compared, ITSM may be seen as requiring more investment and more time to achieve significant results.
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), one of the most popular frameworks for implementing IT service management, may appear cumbersome. What contribution can ITSM and ITIL still make, if DevOps is adopted?
DevOps relies on the possibility of frequent changes, as developers and operations staff work closely together to iterate towards apps that are best aligned to current customer needs.
It can be difficult to keep up with the changes. Organisations using ITIL for problem and change management may find that it is still popular with service desk managers, but seen as a potential hindrance by developers.
ITIL supporters point out the advantages of ITIL in raising productivity and reducing costs, whereas DevOps supporters insist on the returns generated by being constantly aligned with market demand and conditions.
The resolution of this situation may come from peaceful coexistence of ITSM and DevOps.
Change in a complex IT environment is a prime cause of outages and ITIL remains an effective tool for implementing best practices to avoid such outages.
Even partial implementation of ITIL can be advantageous, especially for optimizing IT infrastructure and support services for users.
The promise of agility from DevOps must be tempered by good disciplines and processes, to prevent IT anarchy from setting in.
As in many other cases, the cursor cannot be pushed to one or the other extreme of ITIL-only or DevOps-only, but must be placed at the appropriate point between them.